Arrow Season 5, Episode 5: “Human Target” Review
It’s episode 5, and we’re finally starting to see the Arrow Team finally start to gel. Apparently, all it took was having one of their own captured and tortured mercilessly for that to happen. Speaking of, the episode opens with Rene’s fuzzy perspective of events. We get the line that it’s “not the pain that breaks people but the fear,” which bookends the episode nicely with how it ends. We also get a garbled bit of conversation between Church and one of his lackeys, which becomes a pertinent clue later.
I think we’re finally going to see Rene shape up and start to follow the team dynamic from now on. The torture, plus Diggle’s little pep-talks in his hiding spot, seem to have gotten the guy to realize that he can be a contributing factor to the team. Here’s hoping the lesson sticks.
Oliver’s job as mayor keeps throwing a wrench into the works of his crimefighting activities, this time in the form of having to stay in the public eye while Church is gunning for him. Thankfully, Diggle knows a man with a “very specific set of skills.” I’m sorry, but was anyone else thinking about Taken here?
This man happens to be the Human Target, Christopher Chance, a man who basically pretends to be someone else (and usually get killed) for a living. He also plays a better mayor than Oliver, after witnessing his interactions with not only the reporter Susan Williams, who he gets to back off of the negative press train, but also Councilman Collins who he exposes as a capitalist crony. Later, we also see that he met Oliver back in Russia five years ago (not that Ollie quite remembers), which is something that Susan discovers thanks to having Oliver investigated. Gee, I wonder how she’s going to use that little bit of information?
Before the big fight with Church and his men, we get a small interlude where Oliver confronts Felicity about hiding her relationship with Billy Malone, a police officer who has just been added to Oliver’s ACU. They have a very awkward scene, where you can tell they both obviously still have feelings for each other, but Oliver encourages her to be in a relationship with someone else. As frustrating as this is, it’s a very sweet moment showing how when you truly love someone, you do things for their happiness, not your own.
Next comes the big fight scene, which to me seemed a little light on the cool choreography we should be getting from an epic battle like this. Or maybe their budget only allots so much training, so they focused on Oliver, and spread the other stuff thin. I like how Rene got to confront Church, and even get a few good hits before Church runs away, only to be cornered by Oliver in the hangar. What confused me was letting Church live, considering the guy knows Oliver’s identity.
But, then how would we get the final scene with Prometheus? This scene book-ended the episode nicely, showing Church’s fear of what he knows is coming, an ambush. Fortunately for us, Prometheus doesn’t let Church live after he tries to bargain his way out of the situation. This ties into the next episode, which shows Prometheus taking up the role of the next “Big Bad.”
Overall, a good episode, and it ties up a problem with having a main villain that, while wily and connected, just isn’t special enough to carry a whole season. We have the team on track to becoming a solid unit, with Diggle back to help get them in shape. I’m looking forward to figuring out more about the mysterious Prometheus who has been briefly cropping up in previous episodes.